“Eating more cereals and whole grains could reduce the risk of developing colorectal cancer,” BBC News has today reported. The broadcaster says a major examination of fibre research has shown that people can cut their risk of bowel cancers by 20% by eating three portions of foods such as wholegrain breads, cereals and porridge each day.
It has long been thought that a high intake of fibre might cut the risk of bowel and rectal cancers, so British and Dutch researchers decided to review all relevant studies on the topic. After a thorough search, they combined the results of 21 studies that had examined how dietary fibre intake related to later cancer development. The overall results suggest that for each 10g of fibre eaten per day risk of colorectal cancer fell by 10%.
However, the researchers do stress that the associations they observed are uncertain, as there is a possibility that unmeasured dietary or lifestyle factors could be affecting the relationship. For example, people who eat more fibre may also avoid other behaviours thought to increase bowel cancer risk, such as eating red meat, smoking or drinking excessively. Also, all dietary studies are difficult to perform given the complexity involved in capturing people’s long-term eating habits accurately.
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